Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Mini Review: The Earl's Christmas Bride!

Review: The Earl's Christmas Bride by Ella Quinn

Charismatic heroes who are determined to remain single meet their captivating matches—with irresistible results—in USA Today bestselling author Ella Quinn's delightfully romantic and thrillingly sexy Regency-set Marriage Game series. Will appeal to fans of historical romance and readers of Sabrina Jeffries, Eloisa James, and Tessa Dare.

Ella Quinn's charming, clever bachelors are happily single—and aspire to stay that way. But one by one, they discover that love, like the spirit of Christmas, is hard to resist . . .

To mend his jilted heart, Lucian, Earl of Devon, has been on an extended tour of Europe. But now he's returned to England—newly determined to remain unmarried. Devon accepts his friend Lord Exeter's invitation to a holiday house party only after being assured the other guests are exclusively couples and children. Yet it seems Exeter forgot to mention Miss Althea Rutherford. She is eligible, exasperatingly likable, and worse, appears to be totally uninterested in Devon—with one exception . . .

Notoriously difficult to please, Althea has been out for two years, met no one she can envision spending her life with, and is now sick of would-be suitors. In lieu of a third season, she is determined to tour the Continent—a subject Devon is enthused to discuss with her. Devon's fascinating stories of Europe only strengthen Althea's resolve to remain unattached—and weaken his own . . .

Devon thought he was finished with traveling, but the idea of making the journey with the intriguing Althea won't leave his mind. The challenge is to convince her that he'd be a much more enjoyable companion than a chaperone—perhaps for many Christmases to come . . .

-summary and cover via Goodreads

Mini Review: This was an absolute delight of a novella! Althea and Lucian were charming leads. And the speed at which he went from "I don't even want to be in the same building as a single woman" to "The second day is too soon to propose. But.." was so funny to read! I absolutely loved this festive novella, and I would definitely recommend it!

I received an e-ARC from the publisher.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Review: Roll for Initiative!

Review: Roll for Initiative by Jaime Formato

Perfect for fans of Dungeons & Dragons, Raina Telgemeier, and Jessica Kim, a heartfelt coming-of-age middle grade novel about finding your voice and believing in your best geeky self.

Riley Henderson has never taken a bus to school in her entire life. Or made an afterschool snack, or finished her homework on her own, or—ewww—done her own laundry. That’s what her older brother Devin was for.

But now Devin’s gone. He’s off in California attending a fancy college gaming program while Riley is stuck alone in Florida with her mom. That is, until a cool nerd named Lucy gives Riley no choice but to get over her shyness and fear of rejection and become friends. The best part is . . . both girls are into Dungeons & Dragons. In fact, playing D&D was something Riley and Devin used to do together, with Devin as the dungeon master, guiding Riley through his intricately planned campaigns. So, of course, Riley is more than a little nervous when Lucy suggests that she run a campaign for them. For the chance at a friend, though, she’s willing to give it a shot. Soon, their party grows and with the help of her new D&D friends, Riley discovers that not only can she function without Devin, she kind of likes it. She figures out that bus thing, totes the clothes down to the laundry room and sets up her D&D campaigns right there on the slightly suspect folding table, makes her own snacks and dinner— the whole deal. But when Devin runs into trouble with his program and returns home, it's pretty clear, even to Riley, that since he can’t navigate his own life, he’s going to live Riley’s for her. Now she has to help Devin go back to college and prove to her mom that she can take care of herself . . . all before the upcoming Winter-Con.

It's time to Roll for Initiative.

-summary and cover via Goodreads

Plot: Reading about Riley gaining confidence in herself, making friends, and helping her brother was a great a read! I don't know much about D&D, but I enjoyed reading about Riley and her friends playing campaigns, and creating their characters. Each of the girls has their own things and issues going on, and I liked reading about their stories, and how they helped each other, 

Characters: Riley was a fantastic main character, and her friends were all great! I liked how her family played a big role in the story. And I liked all the supporting characters, too!

The Cover: I like it!

Overall: This was an unexpected new favorite for me! I thought it sounded good, but I didn't expect to love it as much as I did. The opening scene made me laugh because of Riley's thoughts, and she had a great voice in the book. This was a fantastic contemporary Middle Grade book, that I highly recommend reading!

I received an e-ARC from the publisher.

Mini Review: Seams Like Murder!

Review: Seams Like Murder by Dorothy Howell

Abbey Chandler needs a new start and a place to escape, so Hideaway Grove, where she spent her childhood summers, seems like a perfect choice. Once there, she takes up a rewarding new hobby—but also gets tangled up in a hit-and-run homicide . . .

Abbey has barely arrived in the quaint, quiet town of Hideaway Grove before things turn from blissful to bloody—as the new librarian is mowed down by a car. The only witness on the scene isn’t much help, aside from handing Abbey the bag of books dropped by the victim. Even worse, the sheriff’s office seizes Abbey’s car because of a suspicious dent in the right front fender.

While she waits for the problem to be sorted out, Abbey is drawn into a charity sewing project—even though she can’t tell a bobbin from a seam ripper. Before she knows it, she’s graduating from pillowcase dresses to aprons, setting up a studio in a back room of her aunt’s bakery, and making plans to participate in the upcoming craft fair.

But through it all, she keeps looking for patterns and possible conflicts in the late librarian’s personal, professional, and romantic life. Then a shocking discovery sends her in a new direction, and as the truth begins to unspool, she’s got a notion about who’s guilty . . .

-summary and cover via Goodreads

Mini Review: I really enjoyed reading this cozy mystery! I liked the cast of characters, the town was nice, and I thought the mystery was well written. Overall, this was a cozy that I would definitely recommend, and I look forward to more books in the series, too!

I received an e-ARC from the publisher.

Review: Gone for Gouda!

 Review: Gone for Gouda (Cheese Shop Mystery #2) by Korina Moss

Things are going from gouda to bad to ugly for cheesemonger Willa Bauer in Gone for Gouda.

Yarrow Glen’s newest cheese shop, Curds & Whey, has a lot on its plate, but cheesemonger Willa Bauer relishes a challenge. There’s a float to build for the fall festival, plus the French-inspired cheese shop is playing host to celebrity vegan chef Phoebe Winston. But when photos surface that prove this vegan influencer is, in fact, a carnivore, things crumble faster than any cheese on the market: Phoebe is murdered. Willa’s employee, the affable Archie, was the last one to see Phoebe alive and the first person the police suspect. To clear his name Willa must uncover who’s been up to no gouda...

-summary and cover via Goodreads

Plot: When I read the first book in this series, Cheddar Off Dead, I knew I had found a new series to add to my favorites list. I loved it, so I went into this book with high expectations, and I am happy to write it did not disappoint! This was just as good as the first book, and I loved getting to see more of Yarrow Glen, and the characters that call it home. The mystery was really well written. I managed to guess who the culprit was (it doesn't lessen my enjoyment of a book when I do, because part of the fun for me is trying to figure it out, and when I do, I'm happy!), but not the why, and I thought it all came together really nicely.

Characters: I think Willa is a great main character, and I really enjoyed reading another book about her solving a mystery! The supporting characters are all wonderful. And I thought the suspects were all well written.

The Cover: I really like it! I think the covers for this series are really good.

Overall: I was so excited when I was approved for an e-ARC of this book, because I loved the first one so much. I immediately began it that night, and it did not disappoint  my high expectations! This is a cozy mystery series that I highly recommend!

I received an e-ARC from the publisher.

Monday, September 19, 2022

Review: When in Rome!

Review: When in Rome by Sarah Adams 

Opposites certainly attract for the stranded pop star and small-town baker in this charming slice of romance from the author of the TikTok sensation The Cheat Sheet.

Amelia Rose, known as Rae Rose to her adoring fans, is burned-out from years of maintaining her "princess of pop" image. Inspired by her favorite Audrey Hepburn film, Roman Holiday, she drives off in the middle of the night for a break in Rome . . . Rome, Kentucky, that is.

When Noah Walker finds Amelia on his front lawn in her broken-down car, he makes it clear he doesn't have the time or patience for celebrity problems. He's too busy running the pie shop his grandmother left him and reminding his nosy but lovable neighbors to mind their own damn business. Despite his better judgment, he lets her stay in his guest room--but only until her car is fixed--then she's on her own.

Then Noah starts to see a different side of Rae Rose--she's Amelia: kindhearted and goofy, yet lonely from years in the public eye. He can't help but get close to her. Soon she'll have to return to her glamorous life on tour, but until then, Noah will show Amelia all the charming small-town experiences she's been missing, and she'll help him open his heart to more.

Amelia can't resist falling for the cozy town and her grumpy tour guide, but even Audrey had to leave Rome eventually.

-summary and cover via Goodreads

Plot: I loved the plot of this one! Reading about Amelia retaking control of her life, and finding happiness again was such a good journey, and I loved her relationship with not only Noah, but with the town of Rome.

Characters: The characters were all wonderful! Amelia and Noah were great narrators, and their banter was just *chefs kiss* perfection. I loved Noah's sisters, and I really hope we get more books about them! The quirky residents of the town were fantastic, and I loved how much humor and heart they brought to the book.

The Cover: I like it!

Overall: This was an absolutely incredible romance novel, and I loved it! Overall, I highly recommend this book!

I received an e-ARC from the publisher.